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Education and Research
From Debra McDonald, Assistant Director, Government Relations Section
My experience includes working in the Central Office of the ABS, covering surveys in Employer Surveys, Economic Statistics and Social Surveys. After some time away from the workforce and a move to Queensland via Adelaide, I rejoined the ABS in the Brisbane Office as an Assistant Director, and worked on the Tourism, Service Industries and Interstate Trade collections, with a move to Client Services 2 years ago.
Future directions in Government Relations
The Client and Statistical Services Branch is changing to better understand and meet the needs of our clients. The Government Relations Section is responsible for building and maintaining relationships with key clients from Queensland State Government, local government and Commonwealth Government departments and agencies.
The section is also responsible for understanding our clients as individuals and their statistical needs, and responding to State Government needs coordinated by the Office of Economic and Statistical Research. The section delivers information on activities across the ABS to keep our clients informed, and provides a link with the ABS nationally to ensure our clients receive a quality, timely and relevant service. We coordinate outpostings of ABS staff and deliver the Statistical Update to your door on a regular basis.
One of our aims is to ensure your voice is heard in the ABS planning process, and where it is not possible to fulfil your needs through a national program we will investigate other options within the ABS.
Statistical Update is one of our methods of keeping you up to date with information on ABS capabilities and upcoming reviews to ABS programs. I encourage you to contact the people at the end of each article for more information or contact my team directly. I also encourage you to let us know of any improvements we can make to Statistical Update.
ABS Introduces New CPI Series
The ABS has announced that it will introduce the 14th series of the Consumer Price Index from September quarter 2000. The new series, fully detailed in Information Paper: Price Indexes and the New Tax System (Cat. no. 6425.0), will enable up-to-date household expenditure patterns to be reflected in the CPI. These changes are being made to maintain the accuracy of the CPI.
As there will be some substitution in expenditure between commodities as a result of tax reforms, a new commodity classification based on an international standard will be introduced. Substitution towards relatively cheaper goods and services can result in an upward bias of the CPI but the new commodity classification will reduce the risk of substitution bias by including substitutable goods in the same commodity class. For example, fresh and processed fruit and vegetables will now be included in the same commodity class.
Subject to further evaluation, the ABS will also introduce a new financial services group to the CPI which would mean that for the first time direct and indirect fees (such as interest rate margins) charged to consumers on deposit and loan facilities will be included in the CPI.
The information paper notes that June quarter 2000 will be the ‘link quarter’, therefore price changes resulting from tax reform changes on 1 July will be reflected in the September quarter 2000 CPI and not be distorted by the introduction of the 14th series.
Price Indexes and the New Tax System (Cat. no. 6425.0) contains the full details and may be found on the ABS web site. This paper follows a previous, related paper, ABS Statistics and the New Tax System (Cat. no. 1358.0). To purchase a copy of this publication, contact the ABS Bookshop in your capital city.
For further information contact Keith Woolford on 02 6252 6673 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Forms of Employment in Australia - A First
A new publication, Forms of Employment, Australia (6359.0) and a Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF) along with its relevant Information Paper resulted from the Forms of Employment Survey (FOES).
The recently released publication presents data on the nature and extent of various forms of employment in the Australian labour market, sourced from the FOES conducted in August 1998.
It also gives a description of the CURF, the types of files, the conditions of its release binding on the user and some warnings of limitations about its use. Categories within the CURF have been assigned weights to allow estimations based on the CURF to reflect the whole population rather than the sample itself. The CURF, released on CD-ROM, will enable purchers to tabulate, manipulate and analyse data to their own specifications.
To access the Information Paper, located on the ABS web site, at the home page click on All publications from 1998 onwards, then Starting with 6, then 63, then 6359.0.00.001.
For more information contact Kate Nielsen on 02 6252 5759 or email@example.com
Information Paper: Measuring Region of Origin Merchandise Exports
The methodology that can be used for estimating merchandise exports for regions of Australia is discussed in this information paper (Cat. no. 5492.0). Some experimental estimates of merchandise exports for some selected Queensland regions are included and estimates of regional merchandise exports, for specific regions in Australia, can be produced as part of the consultancy service of the ABS.
Exports are a significant item in the Australian balance of payments. In 1996-97, exports of goods earned $80,934m. Over the period from 1994-95 to 1996-97 they have grown 20.6%. This growth has impacted on industry in many ways and has had significant effects on regional economies. Both State and local governments are seeking information at a regional level, which will enable them to measure this effect over time. Regional information could also be used to measure the response to their policies and initiatives that are designed to stimulate growth. The ABS is the main source of Australia’s international trade statistics.
For exports, State statistics are available for State of origin (i.e. the State in which the final stage of manufacture or production occurs) and State and Port of loading (i.e. the State in which the goods are loaded on to the ship or aircraft to be exported - this could differ from the State of origin). Statistics are not available for exports by region of origin. However the method outlined in this paper can provide an estimate of regional exports.
For further information contact Brian Holliday on 07 3222 6132 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Price Indexes and The New Tax System
The New Tax System will result in changes in absolute and relative prices for goods and services. The extent to which these changes impact on ABS price indexes varies from index to index depending on the purpose of the index and hence the pricing basis adopted in their compilation.
The direct impact of The New Tax System on the producer price indexes is limited. A range of complex issues arise, however, in the case of the Consumer Price Index.
There will be no direct effect on producer price indexes other than for building materials where the removal of sales tax will have a downward influence on some prices and Materials used in coal mining, where changes to the diesel rebate scheme are expected to have a downward effect on diesel prices. Indirect effects are expected to have a downward effect on all producer price indexes, although these effects will not be quantifiable.
The Consumer Price Index will continue to measure final transaction prices inclusive of indirect taxes and will reflect the net effects of the tax changes in The New Tax System. A new utility-based commodity classification is to be introduced with the 14th series of the CPI to better address possible consumer substitution between commodities in response to relative price changes occurring as a result of The New Tax System.
Average retail prices published from the September quarter 2000 will reflect the net effect of tax changes in The New Tax System.
House price indexes from September quarter 2000 will reflect the net effect of tax changes in The New Tax System.
Food for Thought ... Creating Alternate Industry Views
The ABS Economic Standards area has commenced work on defining an alternate view of the food industry. The proposal is to establish a framework that presents the available data to provide an 'all about' view of the food sector.
Statistics on industry are vital for economic analysis, policy formation and the monitoring of industry trends. It is important that information is captured to be able to describe industries in terms of such characteristics as production values, employment and export activity.
Currently the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) is used to classify businesses to an industry and forms the basis on which ABS industry statistics are presented. The ANZSIC definitions of industry are often different or narrower in scope than the common perceptions of what activities comprise a particular industry. This creates the need to develop an alternate view or framework to effectively capture the scope of an industry, and present statistics to reflect the overall picture of an industry. For example, the mining industry is considered to contain ANZSIC classes from the Mining, Manufacturing and Electricity, Gas and Water Supply Divisions.
Consideration of the purpose and scope of the alternate view is also required. The range of sectors in the economy which could be potentially regarded as being part of the food sector need to be defined and assessed for inclusion in a broader view. The alternate view will involve an extension of the traditionally accepted scope of the food sector as defined in ANZSIC. A broader scope is being considered, including ANZSIC classes from the Transport and Storage, Accommodation, Cafes and Restaurants and Property and Business Services Divisions. For some activities of the food sector, there are sufficient data available to support the framework e.g. agriculture, manufacturing, food retailing and trade. However for other activities, such as wholesale, transport and storage and business services, data are limited.
A number of consultations with Victorian State government agencies with a policy interest in the food sector have been undertaken. Further consultation with a wide range of stakeholders across Australia is planned, following the release of a research paper in late 2000.
If you would like to participate in the planned discussions or would like to receive a draft of the alternate view project for comment contact James Darragh on 03 9615 7476 or email@example.com or Debbie Goodwin on 03 9615 7590 or firstname.lastname@example.org
More on - Household Use of Information Technology
Following on from the review of the quarterly Household Use of Information Technology Survey for 2000, and the resultant changes to the year 2000 surveys questionnaire, increased information about household and individual use of the internet is available.
There are now additional items on Internet shopping, as well as new questions on barriers to Internet shopping and use of the Internet to access government and financial services. The year 2000 surveys also include questions on several newer home technologies such as webcam, DVD, CDMA phones and Internet access through set top boxes or mobile phones.
The first release of year 2000 data occurred on 13 June 2000 in the quarterly release Use of the Internet by Householders, February 2000 (Cat. no. 8147.0). Annual data aggregated for 1999 were released on 6 June 2000 in Household use of Information Technology, 1999 (Cat. no. 8146.0). This publication includes more detailed information than that available in the quarterly release. For instance, State and Territory dissections are available for a number of items.
Questions on IT use by children as well as household access to computers and the Internet were asked in a supplementary to the April 2000 Monthly Labour Force Survey. The sample population in the Monthly Labour Force Survey is large enough to provide an opportunity to present more detailed regional IT statistics as well as some information about children’s IT activities. Results are expected to be released later this year.
For further information contact John Ovington on 02 6252 5189 or email@example.com
Accrual-based Government Finance Statistics
Resulting from the adoption of an accrual accounting basis, the ABS implemented major changes to Government Finance Statistics (GFS), which were reflected in the release of the 1999-2000 issue of Government Financial Estimates (Cat. no. 5501.0) and again in the 1998-99 issue of Government Finance Statistics (Cat. no. 5512.0). The change in the accounting basis from a predominantly cash basis to an accruals approach is fundamental and its major effects are reflected by a shift in focus from analytical measures such as the 'Deficit’ to concepts such as ‘Net Operating Balance’, ‘Net Lending/Borrowing’ and ‘Increase in Net Worth’.
The change in accounting basis has come about as a result of the adoption of accrual accounting by Australian governments and the need to align the Australian GFS to revised international statistical standards. Over recent years, Australian governments have progressively introduced various Australian Accounting Standards that have required the adoption of an accrual basis and have also introduced (in AAS31) the concept of reporting for the whole of government to give an overview of each government‘s financial performance.
A new conceptual framework in the form of an integrated statement of stocks and flows derived from SNA93 (System of National Accounts, revised in 1993) has been introduced in place of the old cash-based framework. The new GFS framework (like the old one) is designed to facilitate macro-economic analysis, but is based on an integrated recording of stocks and flows. This allows a more comprehensive assessment of the economic impact of government activity and the sustainability of fiscal policy. It also provides an improved basis for monitoring efficiency in the allocation and use of government resources.
The new GFS framework is divided into a number of separate statements. These are Operating Statement, Statement of Stocks and Flows, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Statement, each of which focuses on analytical aggregates or balances of particular interest to users of GFS.
The new GFS analytical balances are:
The following table summarises the main differences for each GFS sector between cash GFS and accrual GFS.
MAIN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CASH BASED GFS AND ACCRUAL GFS
For further information contact Murray Lyons on 07 3222 6198 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Developments in Service Industries Surveys (SIS)
The ABS undertakes a range of surveys of the service industries on an annual basis. In respect of the 1999-2000 financial year the ABS is surveying casinos, community services industries, cultural industries, leasing and hiring industries and the veterinary services industry.
The SIS Surveys being conducted in respect of 1999-2000
The Casino Survey is conducted annually. The publication (Cat. no. 8683.0) shows the changing size and structure of the casino industry in Australia and is scheduled for release in January 2001.
Community Services Survey
The scope of the 1999-2000 Community Services Survey will be similar to that of the 1995-96 survey. It will include all employing organisations, both public and private, mainly engaged in community services or undertaking significant community services activity. The scope of the survey includes organisations classified to ANZSIC Subdivision 87 (Community Services) which covers the following classes:
Selected government organisations classified to ANZSIC classes 8111, 8112 and 8113 will also be included to collect data on their funding of community service activities and their direct provision of community services activities.
The expectation in respect of the 1999-2000 survey is that a single publication (Cat. no. 8696.0) will be released in July 2001.
The scope of the Cultural Industries Surveys is all units classified to the following ANZSIC classes:
In addition to the above, the following units will also be included in order to present a more complete user view of the activities of interest:
Eight separate publications are proposed to be released. The publications will be similar in content and structure in that they will contain both structural and activity data about the respective industry. They are:
The survey of Leasing and Hiring Industries is to be undertaken for the first time. It includes both the plant hiring and leasing industry (ANZSIC class 7743) and the personal and household goods hiring industry (ANZSIC class 9519).
It is expected they will show a turnover in excess of $6,000m, which is similar in magnitude to the clubs industry or the accommodation industry. It is expected there will be one publication covering the rent, leasing and hiring industries, and scheduled for release in the period May to June 2001.
The veterinary services industry (ANZSIC class 8640) was identified as a significant industry for which there is little available information, so it will be un dertaken as a survey for the first time.
The veterinary services industry (a class within the health services subdivision) had been included for consideration in the 1997-98 allied health industries surveys, however, due to resource constraints and the tenuous link of veterinary services to allied health services, it did not proceed. It is expected there will be one publication covering the veterinary services industry and scheduled for release in the period May to June 2001
For further information contact Paull Hoffmann on 07 3222 6201 or email@example.com
Alternate View for the Environment Sector
The NSW office of the ABS is developing an alternative view of the waste management and recycling services industries.
An alternate view refers to the presentation of collected data in a way other than the standard ANZSIC industry based view. The view, which complies with the international standards suggested by Eurostats in The Environmental Goods and Services Industry, Manual for Data Collection and Analysis, will expand on the published data of businesses contributing to the industry and present a format for statistics on the demand for these services in the public, private and household sectors.
It is anticipated that data collected would be available at State and national levels. The view also makes use of data items collected in the waste management industry survey run in 1996-97.
For further information contact Kevin Fagan on 02 9268 4315 or firstname.lastname@example.org
New Household Expenditure Survey
The latest Household Expenditure Survey started fieldwork in July 1998 and was completed in June 1999. The survey collected details about expenditure, income and a range of demographic and social characteristics of households throughout Australia. Data are now available in the publication Household Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results (Cat. no. 6530.0), and through the special tabulation service.
The 1998-99 survey maintains a very good time series with that conducted in 1993-94, but there are some differences in content and output. Queensland tables are available on request
New questions on financial stress and certain lump sum payments were added.
A Household Expenditure Classification was introduced to replace the HES Commodity Code List (HESCCL) used in earlier Household Expenditure Surveys. At the detailed level, extra items were created to cover new areas of expenditure, such as mobile phones and new entertainment technologies.
Changed collection and/or processing methods were also introduced for information on taxes and fees on financial institution accounts, education, disability, loans, industry of employment, tenure, landlord type, gambling and income in-kind.
Other survey output
A 1993-94 to 1998-99 concordance, as well as the complete Household Expenditure Classification, are also available electronically or in hard copy.
For further information contact Shelley Evans on 02 6252 7031 or email@example.comReducing Provider Load
Many providers of information to the ABS are also required to comply with many other demands for their time and effort by government at all levels. The Federal Government is concerned that all of these tasks are making it harder for small businesses to operate. Although the 1996 report of the Small Business Deregulation Task Force, More Time for Business, reported that statistics accounted for only 1% of the time small business spends on paperwork and compliance work, the challenge has been taken up by the ABS to reduce this load and so make things easier, in particular for small businesses.
The ongoing support of providers is vital to production of quality statistics. The aim of reducing provider load is to maintain good relations between the ABS and providers and to keep them as willing participants in the statistics process. To reduce provider load while maintaining the quality of the output statistics, however, is a real balancing act. A Provider Load Committee meets regularly and a measure of its success is that since 1995-96 the load on business providers has been reduced to some 425,000 hours - 35% less than in 1995-96.
This was achieved by a wide range of changes including reduction of the frequency of some collections, reduction of the sample size used in collections, fewer questions asked and improved form design. Further priorities over the next year or so will involve ways of using more tax data as an alternative to direct collection and exploration of better ways to manage the load on providers, especially on medium-sized businesses.
For further information contact Geoff Heffernan on 02 6252 5632 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Building Prices Indexes - Coming Soon
The ABS is developing price indexes to measure the quarter to quarter price movement of the outputs of building other than house building and selected categories of engineering construction.
Although these indexes will primarily be produced on a national basis, it is expected that the indexes for building and road construction will also be available for States and Territories.
The ABS will begin disseminating the building price indexes toward the end of 2000, with the other indexes following on a progressive basis.
For further information, contact Mark Dubner on 02 9268 4448 or email@example.com
Centralised Information Service Now Serves All States and Territories
The National Information Service (NIS) is now fully operational. It acts as a gateway to the full range of information and services provided by the ABS. It handles telephone inquiries, internet email inquiries including those received from the ABS web site, fax and written inquiries and was created following a decision in August 1999 to centralise the telephone inquiry services, previously located in each State and Territory.
The implementation of the NIS has been staged, with the transfer of functions occurring progressively since 31 January 2000. The final State, Western Australia, transferred at the end of March.
The NIS is located in the New South Wales office of the ABS. The service operates from 8.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. local time for each State and Territory. Consultants in the NIS assess client needs and provide prompt responses to simple inquiries. Data requests which can be serviced from current publications and within 5 minutes are met without charge and the sale of current publications can be arranged over the phone. Where the request cannot be met within these guidelines, clients are referred to the Client Services area in their State or Territory of origin.
A range of self-help options are also available, such as the ABS web site, LEP services and the CPI InfoLine.
If you require some simple statistical information which might be answerable from a current publication, contact the NIS on:
Telephone: 1300 135 070 (Local call charge only) Overseas clients please call 61 2 9268 4909.
Fax: 1300 135 211
Write to: Client Services, GPO Box 796, Sydney NSW 2001
Goods and Services Tax ('GST') and ABS Products and Services
This notice provides a general outline of the impact of the introduction of the GST on prices for ABS products and services. In providing this information, the ABS is not giving legal advice on the operation of the GST and related taxation changes. Customers should obtain appropriate advice on the impact of GST and related taxation changes on their activities.
Setting Prices of ABS Products and Services
The ABS as a supplier is increasing its prices to reflect its GST liability for taxable supplies made on or after 1 July 2000. In revising its pricing, the ABS has estimated likely reductions in costs to the ABS as a result of taxes which are being phased out or abolished. These estimated reductions have been incorporated.
Transition Period Issues
Some supplies made by the ABS will span the commencement of GST (1 July 2000). For those supplies, part of the supply will not be subject to GST (that part of the supply made before 1 July 2000) and part of the supply will be a taxable supply (that part of the supply made on or after 1 July 2000). The ABS is increasing the price charged for supplies on only that part of the supply which is a taxable supply. For example, for a subscription for the 2000 calendar year, the increase to reflect the impact of GST has been calculated on that part of the price relating to the supply of the subscription made on or after 1 July 2000.
Customer's Entitlement to Full Input Tax Credits
If a customer (recipient of a supply) is entitled to input tax credits, the customer will require certain documentation to entitle the customer to claim the input tax credit. The invoices presently provided by the ABS are set out as a document in a form satisfying the requirements of GST Bulletin 1999/1 Guidelines for 'tax invoices' issued by suppliers before 1 July 2000. The ATO has indicated in GSTR 2000/3 that such a document entitles the recipient of a supply to claim an input tax credit even though the recipient has not been issued with a tax invoice.
The ABS has received an Australian Business Number (ABN - 26 331 428 522) and is also registered for GST. Commencing 1 July 2000, the ABS will provide customers with tax invoices which meets the requirements of the GST legislation.
Where to Find GST Inclusive Prices
ABS prices include the GST for all supplies made on and after 1 July, 2000. The prices of some ABS products produced prior to 1 July 2000 will therefore be adjusted to reflect GST on and after 1 July 2000. The GST exclusive prices applying up to 30-6-2000 are displayed in the 1999 ABS Catalogue of Publications (Cat. no. 1101.0), on the ABS web site, in ABS Bookshops and in other relevant information. The GST inclusive prices applying from 1-7-2000 will be displayed towards the middle of the year in the 2000 ABS Catalogue of Publications, on the ABS web site, in ABS Bookshops, and in other relevant information about ABS prices.
Prices for year 2000 subscriptions to ABS publications are contained in A guide to subscriptions: publications to be released in 2000 (Cat. no. 1109.0).
Outcomes of the Service Industries Survey Program Review
As part of its overall Services Statistics Strategy, the ABS has had in place a program of Service Industry Surveys since 1991-92. The objective of the program has been to provide more comprehensive information about the structure, nature and activities of the different industries that make up the services sector, which is now the largest component of the Australian economy. In the period from 1991-92 to the present, the program has covered most of the service industries including the retail and wholesale industries, gambling industries, community service industry, cultural industries, business services and a range of professions such as the medical, legal, allied health and dental professions.
In early 1999, a major review of the Service Industries Survey Program was undertaken with key Commonwealth and State users with the objective of identifying the highest priority industries for the next round of Service Industries Surveys to be conducted over the next 2-3 years.
As one might expect there was a diverse range of submissions made as part of the review, however there were five main areas of interest in the submissions received and these covered the following fields: community services and health, tourism, gambling, sport and recreation and cultural industries.
In response to those submissions the ABS is proposing the following program of surveys:
For reference year 1999-2000:
For more information contact Paul Sullivan on 02 6252 5635 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The ABS encourages responses to articles in this newsletter and welcomes your suggestions for future issues.
Contact: Doylys Hartridge
Telephone: 07 3222 6326
Fax: 07 3222 6283
EDUCATION AND RESEARCH
CURFs Up! 300 and Rising
The ABS/Australian Vice Chancellors’ Committee Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF) Agreement reached a significant milestone in December 1999 with the lodgement of the 200th application. The total has now risen to 300 applications in June 2000.
The Agreement, signed in February 1999, allows universities, for the purposes of supporting teaching and academic research, access to ABS CURFs which contain unidentifiable unit record data from most of the key ABS social and labour surveys.
The ABS Tertiary Client Management team has provided a service which ensures the high client demand is speedily met. The team works closely with subject matter areas and has had great support from them in meeting the unexpected high demand for ABS CURF data. The Agreement has been successful in supporting major research and results have formed the basis of research papers, been included in publications and discussed at conferences. The data have been used to build models for ongoing research and analysis and to support evaluation of policy developments across a range of economic and social areas.
Applications for nearly 50 different CURFs have been received from 28 universities. Some of the topics requested were: literacy, Census, disability, ageing and carers, child care, business longitudinal surveys, household expenditure, time use, income and housing costs, employment and unemployment patterns, education and training experience, labour mobility, mental health and well-being, rental investors and national health and nutrition.
The ABS web site provides all information required by clients including a Guide to Obtaining a CURF, Application Booklet, Frequently Asked Questions and a List of Available CURFs. Access this information at http://www.abs.gov.au/websitedbs/D3110129.NSF/ABS-AVCC
For further information contact Carolyn Kennedy on 02 6252 5853 or email@example.com
LEP Expands Its Web
The web pages of the ABS Library Extension Program (LEP) on the ABS web site have been restructured and augmented.
Six pages have been extensively revised and another 23 added. New pages include
‘Beginning with CLIB’, ‘What's New?’, and ‘Frequently Asked Questions’. ‘Beattie's Best’ (a series of informal guides to ABS publications for librarians), inside the Librarians’ Toolkit has been revised and updated and the latest in the series is available on the ABS web site. More links to other parts of the ABS web site have been made to facilitate use of the information there.
To get to the LEP section, from the ABS home page select Products and Services, then under the heading ABS Services select the link ABS Library Extension Program.
For further information contact Neil McKellar-Stewart on 07 3222 6364 or firstname.lastname@example.org
National Centre for Education and Training Statistics
Since early 1999 the ABS has sought to increase its role in the development of education and training statistics in Australia, to better meet the emerging needs of education policy makers and planners for information in this field.
The creation of the National Centre for Education and Training Statistics (NCETS) is a part of the ABS response in this direction. The NCETS provides for ongoing ABS involvement in the field of education and training such as methods of collection and management of data, and research and analysis of information about education and training.
In addition, a newly created specialist unit within the NCETS will provide leadership for statistics in the field of education and training. This unit, the National Education and Training Statistics Unit (NETSU) was established by the ABS on 1 July 2000, in partnership with key stakeholders. At its inaugural meeting, the NETSU Management Board agreed to an initial work program of the NETSU that includes the development of an education and training statistics framework and the development of key performance measures of education participation and attainment.
A further initiative of the ABS will be to establish an Education and Training Statistics and Advisory Group (ETSAG) to provide advice to the NCETS on statistical matters in education and training. The ETSAG will comprise representatives with statistical expertise in the field of education and training.
For further information contact Mel Butler on 02 6252 5936 or email@example.com
2001 Census: Final Consultations Starting Soon
Since early 1999, the ABS has been undertaking a wide ranging consultation with users of census data. Initially, the ABS conducted focus groups with users to obtain qualitative information on the range and delivery of 1996 Census products and services.
This was followed by a wider consultation with all known census data users to obtain reactions to the broad strategies and directions for developing 2001 Census products and services. This information, summarised in ABS Views on Census Output Strategy (Cat. no. 2009.0), was distributed to all Census Update readers last October. This paper and its findings are available from the ABS web site.
Proposed Products and Services
The final phase of the census user consultation process will be commencing shortly. The Information Paper: 2001 Census of Population and Housing: Proposed Products and Services (Cat. no. 2011.0) is due for release on 27 July 2000.
The information paper, which incorporates feedback from the second round of consultations, describes the full range of products and services that are proposed for release and their indicative release dates. The paper also aims to inform census users of the changes to census data concepts and classifications.
The information paper will be accompanied by a supplement and questionnaire. The supplement contains detailed information on the proposed format and table content of 2001 Census publications, the Community Profile Series and Internet Services.
The information paper, supplement and questionnaire will be available via the ABS web site on 27 July (select the Census button on the ABS home page and follow the links). They will also be distibuted to Census Update readers shortly thereafter.
The questionnaire has been specifically drawn up so we can hear your views on the proposed products and services. After considering the available information, please take the time to complete the questionnaire and return it by 15 September 2000.
The questionnaire can be completed in hardcopy or on-line via the ABS web site.
In addition, the ABS welcomes comments on other output related issues that users wish to be considered before the ABS finalises its output plans for the next census. It is important that the ABS receive as many comments as possible so as to ensure that the census products and services developed are relevant to user’s statistical requirements.
The information from this consultation will be used to finalise the design, content and functionality of the full range of 2001 Census products and services.
More information about census products and services
The ABS will continue to deliver more detailed information about the proposed 2001 Census product suite as plans become firmer. As the current ABS pricing policy is undergoing review, indicative prices have not been included in the information paper. However as prices for census products and services are developed, clients will be informed through future editions of Census Update and the ABS web site.
It is also important to note that the release dates shown in the paper are indicative only and are subject to change. The ABS intends to make every effort to release data as soon as possible, and will advise users of firm release dates in the first release of Census Update in 2002, and through the ABS web site.
For further information contact Bernie Fitzpatrick on 02 6252 7869 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Monitoring trends in imports and exports
Regular trade reports from the ABS are the ideal way to identify trends in imports and exports. They help you monitor commodity price & volume changes, analyse market share, and track import penetration and export performance.
Import information is available just 12 working days after the end of each month, and exports, 21 days after the end of the month.
If you’d like to get the most comprehensive and accurate picture of import and export activity in Australia, call
1800 802 928 and ask for the commodities that interest you.
Optional Data Retention in Census 2001
It was announced in December 1999 that the 2001 census will offer the Australian people a choice of having their names, addresses and census form information retained by the National Archives of Australia and released for research purposes after 99 years. This decision was welcomed as the 2001 census has great significance, being the first of the new millennium and coinciding with the Centenary of Federation.
The government’s decision means that the census information which people have elected to have retained will be available to genealogists, social historians and other researchers in the 22nd century.
‘In a thousand years’ time Australians will be able to use this census as a snapshot of how their country looked at the dawn of the past millennium,’ the Minister told Parliament.
The census will continue to provide a detailed statistical picture of Australia vital to informed decision making in the future.
Names, addresses and census information will only be retained for those people who explicitly ‘opt-in’. These details will be retained by the National Archives of Australia and released in 99 years. A primary role of the Archives is to retain valuable Commonwealth records in a safe and secure environment, so these census records are guaranteed to remain confidential for the next 99 years.
Census staff are incorporating the government decision into all aspects of planning for the next census which will take place on Tuesday night, 7 August 2001.
For further information contact Paul Williams on 02 6252 5940 or email@example.com
Assessing the Need for Intercensal Small Area Data - Your Input Required!!
While intercensal ERP data are published and the ABS currently produces census year estimates for households by SLA as a standard output, household estimates for the intercensal period are not prepared at the SLA level.
It may be feasible to produce household estimates for the intercensal period, but this will depend on the demand that exists as well as methodological concerns. However, it is unlikely that such estimates will be available until at least 2003.
To assist the ABS determine demand for this data we are seeking responses by 31 July identifying:
(i) policy initiatives affected by the lack of this data,
(ii) what alternatives are available (if this data is not available),
(iii) whether or not household estimates would be used and
(iv) what type of intercensal household data would best suit your needs if the ABS can produce more than just household counts for the intercensal periods.
For more information contact Stefan Johns on 08 8237 7398 or firstname.lastname@example.org
2001 Census: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Enumeration Strategy
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Enumeration Strategy (IES) for the 2001 Census of Population and Housing is currently being finalised.
The IES is a collection strategy for counting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in nominated discrete communities and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households. It also includes census awareness activities targeted at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.
The proposed IES for 2001 will recruit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to conduct the census wherever possible and continue use of specially designed forms in discrete communities.
It is anticipated that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander enumeration will be more fully integrated with the standard collection than it has been in the past and strategies will also be put in place for homeless enumeration and ethnic enumeration.
For further information, contact Kevin Beere on 08 8943 2141 or email@example.com
The ABS released the latest figures on persons in gaol on 29 June 2000. Details (for Indigenous and all prisoners) include legal status - sentenced or unsentenced - type of custody (secure, open or periodic detention) type of sentence and receptions of sentenced prisoners into custody and the number of federal prisoners. Data is available at State level with further breakdown by sex.
Interesting snippets of information from Corrective Services, Australia, March Quarter 2000 (Cat. no. 4512.0) show that:
For further information contact Nick Skondreas on 03 9615 7362 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Crime Statistics Available
The ABS has released the results from the 1998 Crime and Safety Survey, the first national survey in 5 years, in the publication Crime and Safety, Australia (Cat. no. 4509.0). The survey was conducted to obtain the level of victimisation in the community for selected offences. Information on the household crimes of break-in, attempted break-in and motor vehicle theft was collected. For persons aged 15 years and over, information was collected on the personal crimes of robbery and assault. Females aged 18 years and over were asked questions on sexual assault.
Uses of Crime Victimisation Data
Crime victimisation data is being increasingly used to guide policy makers in decisions on resource allocation, crime prevention and other law enforcement efforts and to provide performance indicators as a guide to the success of such programs and activities. For example:
Data from the publication Recorded Crime, Australia, 1999, released on 28 June 2000, show that between 1998 and 1999:
The Crime and Safety Survey contact Christine Holland on 03 9615 7673 or email@example.com
Recorded Crime statistics contact Eng Chee on 03 9615 7595 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Queensland Office Launches Landmark Internet Activity Survey
There is a strong demand for regular statistics on Internet activity from government departments and industry users. Public and private organisations in Australia will soon have access to reliable measures of Internet usage thanks to a quarterly Internet Activity Survey, a first for the ABS and a first for Australia, being conducted by the Queensland office.
A pilot survey was undertaken for the June quarter 2000 and quarterly surveys will be conducted from the September 2000 quarter. The first results from the survey are expected to be available in December 2000.
The survey will include some basic industry and regional data on this important sector which is underpinning the emerging information economy. Information collected in the survey will include subscriber numbers and churn rates, on-line time and amount of data downloaded, Internet Service Provider (ISP) contact locations, infrastructure, and technical support.
For further information contact Sandra Hine on 07 3222 6172 or email@example.com
FUTURE AUSTRALIAN LABOUR FORCE
Labour Force Projections to 2016
The ABS has recently released a summary of the projections of the Australian Labour Force to 2016.
The projections, in the publication Labour Force Projections, Australia, 1999-2016 (Cat. no. 6260.0), illustrate what future labour force outcomes might be realised if the assumed labour force and population trends eventuate. The results are neither predictions nor forecasts, they merely extrapolate past labour force trends and apply them to projections of the population.
The projections are available, at the national level only, for labour force and labour force participation rate by age and by sex.
The overall labour force participation rate is projected to fall to 60.6% by 2016. This rate was last experienced in 1984. In 1990, the labour force participation rate peaked at 63.7% - the highest level since it has been measured. It is not projected to reach this level again during the projection period.
For further information contact Don Clark on 02 6252 6018 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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